CUED Publications database

Experimental validation study of 3D direct simple shear DEM simulations

Bernhardt, ML and Biscontin, G and O Sullivan, C (2016) Experimental validation study of 3D direct simple shear DEM simulations. Soils and Foundations, 56. pp. 336-347. ISSN 0038-0806

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Abstract

© 2016 Japanese Geotechnical Society Simple shear element tests can be used to examine numerous geotechnical problems; however, the cylindrical sample (NGI-type) direct simple shear (DSS) device has been criticized for its inability to apply uniform stresses and strains, as well as for its inability to fully define the stress state of the soil during shearing. Discrete element method (DEM) simulations offer researchers a means to explore the fundamental mechanisms driving the overall behavior of granular soil in simple shear and to improve the understanding of the DSS device itself. Here, three-dimensional DEM simulations of laminar NGI-type direct simple shear element tests and equivalent physical tests are compared to validate the numerical model. This study examines the sensitivity of the DEM simulation results to sample size, contact model and stiffness inputs, and ring wall boundary effects. Sample inhomogeneities are also considered by examining the radial and vertical void ratio distributions throughout the samples. Both the physical experiments and the DEM simulations presented herein indicate that the observed material response is highly sensitive to the particle size relative to the sample dimensions. The results show that samples with a small number of relatively large particles are very sensitive to small changes in packing; and thus, an exact match with the DEM simulation data cannot be expected. While increasing the number of particles greatly improved the agreement of the volumetric and stress–strain responses, the dense DEM samples were still initially much stiffer than the experimental results. This is most likely due to the fact that the inter-particle friction was artificially lowered, during the sample preparation for the DEM simulations, in order to increase the sample density.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:07
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 01:47
DOI: